Sherko Jihani (m), journalist and human rights defender
Iranian Kurdish journalist and human rights defender, Sherko Jihani, was detained on 27 November 2006 in the town of Mahabad in Kurdistan province, northwestern Iran. He is held incommunicado at an undisclosed location where he is at risk of torture or ill-treatment. He may be detained on account of his peaceful activities on behalf of the rights of Iran’s Kurdish minority, in which case Amnesty International would consider him a prisoner of conscience.
Sherko Jihani, the correspondent of the Turkish news agency Euphrat in Mahabad and a member of the Human Rights Organization of Kurdistan (HROK), was reportedly summoned to appear before Branch 2 of the Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office in Mahabad on 27 November and was immediately arrested and detained in Mahabad Central Prison. He was reportedly interrogated about forming an investigative committee to object to the kidnapping on 8 January 2006 of a woman human rights activist, Sarveh Komkar (Kamkar), and for giving interviews to foreign stations about the July 2005 killing by Iranian security forces of Kurdish activist, Showan (Shivan) Qaderi. His family was reportedly able to visit him on or around 4 December 2006. Sherko Jihani reportedly refused to pay a 50 million Rials bail (about US$ 5,500) and began a hunger strike in protest at his detention on 30 November. On 4 December, he began refusing to speak.
On 6 December, Sherko Jihani was removed from Mahabad Prison and was taken to an unknown location, possibly Oromieh prison. His family has since been unable to visit him or to confirm his whereabouts.
Sherko Jihani has reportedly been arrested nine times since 1999 and is said to have been tortured while in detention.